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DreamWorks Animation to Cut Fifth of Work Force (WSJ)
DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. is cutting about one-fifth of its work force and reducing the number of movies it releases each year as the troubled entertainment studio struggles to bounce back from a string of box-office disappointments, the company said Thursday. Deadline It will eliminate about 500 jobs \»across all locations and all division of the studio\» as it consolidates its northern California studio on to its Glendale, Calif. campus. DWA will take a pre-tax charge of $290 million from the restructuring, most of it to be recorded in Q4 but with $110 million in cash payments, mostly this year. It expects to end up saving $30 million this year, growing to $60 million in 2017. The news lifted DWA shares about 3.2 percent in post-market trading. Variety The job loss figure is significantly higher than the estimate of a workforce reduction in the 150 to 400 range that emerged Monday. The layoffs began last week. Deadline DWA said in an SEC filing that CMO Dawn Taubin, COO Mark Zoradi and vice chairman Lewis Coleman are exiting the company as part of the restructuring plan. THR DWA will also trim its slate to two films a year. The newly announced line-up consists of the sequel Kung Fu Panda 3, set for release on March 18, 2016, followed by an original, Trolls, on Nov. 4, 2016. The following year will bring Baby Boss on Jan. 13, 2017 and The Croods 2 on Dec. 22, 2017. For 2018, the studio has set The Larrikins on Feb. 16, 2018 and How to Train Your Dragon 3 on June 29, 2018.
Zanny Minton Beddoes Named Editor of The Economist (FishbowlNY)
The Economist Group, parent of The Economist, has named Zanny Minton Beddoes editor of the magazine. She is the 17th editor — and the first female editor — in The Economist’s 172-year history. HuffPost Per a release from parent company The Economist Group, Beddoes will take the reins from current editor John Micklethwait, who held the post for nine years, on Feb. 2. The Guardian Beddoes is currently business affairs editor at The Economist, having previously been the magazine’s economics editor. In her current role she oversees the weekly’s business, finance, economics, science and technology coverage. She joined The Economist in 1994 after two years as an economist at the International Monetary Fund. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Micklethwait was named Bloomberg LP editor-in-chief in December.
FishbowlDC Founder Garrett Graff Named Editor of Politico Magazine (FishbowlDC)
Politico Magazine has a new editor — and it’s none other than Garrett Graff, who started FishbowlDC in 2005. FishbowlNY Graff, the former editor-in-chief of Washingtonian, was most recently a senior writer for Politico. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Politico also announced that Marc Caputo, the Miami Herald’s lead political writer, has been hired to launch a daily morning newsletter called Florida Playbook, modeled after Mike Allen’s famous D.C. tipsheet. Caputo joined the Herald in 2003 and is known in D.C. circles as the go-to source on Florida politics. Capital New York Politico also announced the hires of Zachary Karabell, a former columnist for The Atlantic and Slate, Matt Latimer, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, Bill Scher, co-host of \»the DMZ,\» Nancy Scola, formerly a correspondent for The Atlantic and The Washington Post, and Emily Thorson, a professor at George Washington University, will be a columnist for Politico Magazine.
Icahn to Seek Two Seats on Gannett’s Board (NYT / DealBook)
Carl C. Icahn is not one to relax for long. Fresh off signing a truce with eBay, the activist investor disclosed on Thursday that he planned to seek two seats on the board of Gannett, as well as to make proposals to prevent the media company from installing defenses against potential takeover bids. Poynter / MediaWire He also expressed particular concern that each of the new companies — Gannett is in the process of the splitting of the company in two, spinning off publishing from television and digital — be open to takeover bids and not adopt any of the defenses management can use to fend off unwelcome offers. Icahn controls 6.6 percent of Gannett stock. HuffPost / AP Icahn also says he will propose that shareholders should have the right to vote on any plan the companies may adopt to fend off unwelcome takeover attempts and that holders of 10 percent or more of company stock be able to call special shareholder meetings.
Hulu Launches Super Bowl Ad Zone (LostRemote)
Hulu and Toyota have teamed up again to bring you the Super Bowl Ad Zone so you can binge watch teasers for this year and watch all those sappy Budweiser spots from last year’s game. SocialTimes Much like Facebook’s existing ad-targeting options, the new Big Game targeting segment it will launch for the Super Bowl will allow brands to serve ads to users based on their interests, with all user data remaining anonymous. Adweek Additionally, with just two weeks to Super Bowl XLIX, the NFL is still reeling from a string of domestic abuse controversies last fall: Consumer perception of the brand is just half of what it was last year, according to YouGov’s BrandIndex.
Vimeo Partners With Atlantic, CBS to Take Paid Videos Everywhere (GigaOM)
IAC-owned video service Vimeo took the next step for its Vimeo on Demand platform Thursday: Vimeo’s paid videos are now available on the websites of partners, including The Atlantic, CBS Interactive and The Enthusiast Network. Partners will sell Vimeo videos on their site and in turn get a cut of each sale. Variety Under the program, publishers can embed videos into article pages or their own VOD storefronts and let users buy them from the syndicated player. That’s a capability, Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor pointed out, that is not available with Apple’s iTunes and Amazon Video. Deadline Companies will have the choice of curating what videos their storefront offers, or letting Vimeo do it based on the site’s core audience and interests. The Atlantic, for instance, has a carefully curated group of video offerings, including documentaries, award winners and films from the Sundance Film Festival.
Union Rep: Layoffs at WaPo Amid ‘Budget Shortfalls’ (FishbowlDC)
The Washington Post has reportedly experienced a round of staff reductions \»amid rumors about lower-than-expected revenue and budget shortfalls,\» according to The Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild’s co-chair, Frederick Kunckle. Mediaite Kunckle broke the news on the Guild’s Facebook page, revealing that the people laid off had been subjected to an out-of-nowhere performance evaluation and offered buyout packages.
Egypt President Seeks End to Al Jazeera Reporters’ Detention (Bloomberg)
Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said he’s seeking a resolution to the case of three Al Jazeera television journalists imprisoned for more than a year. TVNewser \»We are trying very hard to find a way out within the legal framework and respect the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary,\» El-Sisi said Thursday.
Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski Added to NBC’s Super Bowl Pregame (New York Post)
NBC is adding flamboyant figure skater Johnny Weir and his sassy sidekick, Tara Lipinski, to its pregame Super Bowl broadcast. TVNewser The flamboyant duo will be interviewing celebrities and doing spots from the tailgate party, alongside NBC Sports personalities such as Bob Costas, Josh Elliot and Dan Patrick. Weir and Lipinski have become darlings of NBC brass since generating enormous buzz at the Sochi Olympics.
Bill Gates to Guest Edit The Verge (FishbowlNY)
Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and the world’s wealthiest person, is going to serve as The Verge’s guest editor in February. In a note, Nilay Patel, Verge co-founder and editor-in-chief, wrote that throughout the month, Gates will be narrating episodes of an animated series The Big Future, which lays out Gates’ ideas for how technology can improve the world over the next 15 years. The Verge Every year, Bill and Melinda Gates publish a letter outlining their philanthropic efforts and the changes they hope to make in the world. This year, that letter is about improving the lives of the poor through technology. Specifically, it’s about dramatic changes that will occur in banking, farming, health and education in the next 15 years. It just so happens that The Verge exists to explore that kind of change — to examine, celebrate and critique our shared future as advancements in technology move ever faster. If there was ever a time for Bill Gates and The Verge to come together, it’s now.
Tumblr Launches Creative Agency to Connect Artists With Advertisers (Wired)
Tumblr wants to help artists and creators become commercial successes in the real world. SocialTimes Thursday it launched the Creatrs Network, an agency that will select Tumblr users that are onto something and help them connect with brands.
ABC Sets Rosie Perez’s View Return Date (TheWrap)
Despite reports that Rosie Perez is on her way out at The View, the relatively new addition to ABC’s daytime talker will return to the show next month. Perez, who has been on hiatus from The View in January to rehearse for the upcoming Broadway production of the Larry David play Fish in The Dark, will re-join her View cohorts Tuesday, Feb. 3, ABC said Thursday.
Diane Sawyer to Appear on Nightline in First Effort After World News (Variety)
Diane Sawyer has famously held forth on ABC’s Good Morning America and World News Tonight. Now, she’s getting ready for an appearance on wee-hours news program Nightline. On Friday’s edition of Nightline, she will unveil her first effort since leaving the anchor chair at ABC’s World News in late August.
Alex Burns Joins NYT (HuffPost)
Alex Burns, recently a senior political reporter for Politico, has joined The New York Times as Metro political correspondent, according to a memo.
Andy Coulson to Face Retrial in Royal Directories Case (The Telegraph)
Former News of The World editor Andy Coulson is to face a retrial in June over claims he bought Royal phone directories from corrupt police officers.
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